I had forgotten how crazy I am about Foie Gras. The Girl and I have been beetling around Paris over the weekend, and it was an opportunity to re-visit old haunts. We were staying in the 7eme- very close to the fabulous Bon Marché food market (La Grande Epicerie) and department store- which I would urge you to visit next time you're there. It's a massive supermarket, filled with every conceivable food you can possibly think of, albeit with a French slant, naturellement. For some reason, I'm a big fan of terrines, and when I'm in France I always seem to end up ordering the stuff, time after time. I like the way the French serve foie gras: a simple slab of terrine, with a small ramekin or tot-glass of chutney or onion confit.
First stop was at Le Petit Prince de Paris (of vodka sorbet fame)- a popular, local restaurant in the Rue Lanneau, up near the Sorbonne. I like the place, it's good value, and inside is decorated with mirrors, candles, and slightly campy antiques. The food is excellent in a relaxed sort of way, and the service is friendly. I had the terrine de foie gras. It came with the obligatory confit, and a glass of cranberries. The bitter-sweetness of the cranberries was a perfect counter-foil to the richness of the foie-gras. Incidentally, the French seem to have a current obsession with square plates. What's this all about? I find it slightly pretentious, also off-putting and not very practical: your knife and fork has a tendency to scrape along the side of the plate rather too often. A bit like someone dragging their spikey finger nails down a blackboard. Anyway, back to the foie gras.
On Saturday night, I had the same thing all over again, but this time flavoured with vanilla. I adore vanilla- and that's worthy of a separate post at a later date. But, strangely enough, the best foie gras of the lot was at a tiny bistro in Le Marais, Chez Pierro. This is just a tiny brick-walled room with a few tables, a studenty yet discriminating clientele, and a young and enthusiastic staff. You didn't get much foie gras, only a few chunks with some delicious nutty bread, and seved with a pot of home-made mango and ginger chutney, but Mon Dieu, it was formidable.
By the way, you may already have noticed: I've added some fun, inter-active things to The Greasy Spoon. I'm conducting a Marmite poll. Please vote. Once you've pressed the button and cast your vote you will see a map of the world which tracks the distribution of Marmite haters and Marmite lovers around the globe. All utterly pointless of course, unless you're a shareholder in the Marmite Corporation of the United Kingdom. Much more useful is the "Answer Tips" application. Double-click any word on The Greasy Spoon, and you will be taken to a detailed encyclopedic link, which might be especially useful if I've gone off on some bizarre tangent.